[Nfbmo] FW: Legislative Alert and Call to Action

Gary Wunder gwunder at earthlink.net
Thu Oct 29 21:30:37 UTC 2015

Please put this at the top of your to do list for tomorrow morning. If you
have questions, try my cell phone since I am in New York.








From: Diggs, Parnell [mailto:PDiggs at nfb.org] 
Sent: Thursday, October 29, 2015 9:07 AM
To: State Presidents
Subject: Legislative Alert and Call to Action
Importance: High


Good morning,

I wanted to make sure you all saw this right away. It will be sent to the
all members list shortly.





Dear Colleagues:


As you know, a budget deal between the White House and the outgoing Speaker
of the House, John Boehner, was reached earlier this week. The bill, which
passed the House last evening by a vote of 266 to 167, includes provisions
which will impact the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program.
The National Federation of the Blind does not have a position on the bill as
a whole, but we definitely have feelings about those parts of the bill
dealing with SSDI issues.


If no action is taken, the SSDI Trust Fund will be insolvent by December of
2016, resulting in a 20 percent across-the-board cut in benefits. This
legislation would guarantee the solvency of the SSDI Trust Fund through
2022. We find this aspect of the bill to be extremely helpful.


SSDI Provisions


As part of a demonstration project, the Social Security Administration will
select a subgroup (the size of the subgroup is not prescribed in the
legislation) from among all SSDI beneficiaries to participate in a benefit
offset earnings test. The demonstration project is strictly voluntary.
Participants in this voluntary demonstration project would not be subject to
the $1,820 earnings limit, but rather to a $2-for-$1 phase-out of benefits.
This is what we have been asking for, but here's the rub-the phase-out will
start at $810 and will be based upon Impairment Related Work Expenses (IRWE)
under this legislation. If you claim IRWE totaling $810 or less, your
benefit offset would start at $810. On the other hand, if you claim between
$811 and $1,820 in IRWE, your $2-for-$1 phase-out of benefits will start at
your IRWE amount.


Call to Action


The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (H.R.1314) is now headed to the Senate.
Please call your senators today, either directly to their offices, or
through the United States Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121, and ask
them to support two edits (which might be thought of as technical
amendments) to the SSDI provisions of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.


1.      Amend Section 822 so that SSDI beneficiaries can participate in the
demonstration project upon request. 

2.      Amend Section 823 by replacing all references to the term
"Impairment Related Work Expenses" for blind beneficiaries with the term
"Blind Work Expenses," which are broader, more favorable, and are already
available in the SSI program.


All state presidents and Federation leaders should set the example and make
the calls to their senators, keeping in mind that this item is very
time-sensitive. Please call me with any questions using the below contact


As always, fellow Federationists, thanks for all you do.


Very sincerely,


Parnell Diggs, Esq.

Director of Government Affairs

National Federation of the Blind

200 East Wells Street

Baltimore, MD 21230

Office: (410) 659-9314, extension 2222

Mobile: (843) 267-2018

Email:  <mailto:pdiggs at nfb.org> pdiggs at nfb.org

Twitter: @NFB_Voice



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